2002 - ASSA Bloemfontein Centre

February 16, 2002: Boyden Observatory, 19:00
The meeting held on 16 February 2002 was a very pleasant evening, with clear skies and almost 35 people. (Many of whom were visitors and interested persons who also decided to join the Centre).
Chairman Dawie van Jaarsveldt started the year by welcoming all, gave some Centre detail and told us of the fascinating research being done into the Lamont-Hussey observatory, in association with Willie Koorts at SAAO and Dr. Patrick Seitzer in the USA at the University of Michigan.
Thinus van der Merwe then gave us an interesting lecture on "Why the Earth is so Special" - a fascinating look at the geology of Mars, Venus and especially Earth during their early periods of existence.
Braam then gave us a quick tour through the 2002 ASSA Handbook, with all the technical info any amateur in Southern Africa needs to know. Dr. Matie Hoffman also told us about the installation of the CCD camera on the 1.5 meter Boyden-UFS reflector. Though the telescope will be relatively out of bounds from now on, plans are being made to make it also accessible to the public at open evenings/special group visits.
We were fortunate to be at Boyden when the famous astrophotographer, Pine Pienaar and his students were there from Port Elizabeth. He gave us a inspirational talk on how they go about taking stunning pictures of the stars and deep sky objects.
Informal observations through the 13 inch telescope was done afterwards.

March 16, 2002: General Meeting, Boyden Observatory, 19:00
The afternoon started with an introductionary session at the solar telescope at 15:30. The telescope became operational again during that time. Sunspots were easily seen on the image projected on the wall.
A Bring-en-Braai was held after the solar session and again the members enjoyed the peaceful atmosphere of Boyden.
At 19:00 Mr. Gerrit Penning gave a lecture entitled "A Zoom Journey to the Stars" (part of the educational lectures of Boyden Observatory).
The presentation focused especially on the great distances and sizes in the Universe. The meeting was well attended.
After the main lecture, the members heard a short news lecture on the latest developments of the history group's Lamont-Hussey Observatory research.
Mr. Hannes Calitz then gave a constellation tour through the heavens. Informal deep sky observations through the 13 inch also took place.
Some members stayed on and observed some of the Virgo galaxies and also a few open star clusters in the constellation of Puppis.

April 13, 2002: General Meeting, Boyden Observatory, 19:00
At 15:00, the Solar Group members gathered at the Solar Telescope at Boyden for briefings.
At 17:00, a social bring-en-braai was held.
A lecture on astrophotography techniques was given by Miss Surina Hohne at 19:00. It included a demonstration of when to use what camera equipment and how to use it.
It was followed by informal discussions by the remaining members.

May 18, 2002: Workshop, 12:00
"Workshop on Comets and Meteors" - The May meeting, which was also a Boyden Open Evening, started of a workshop on Comets and Meteors early afternoon, presented by Tim Cooper, ASSA Director: Comet and Meteor Section. It was attended by about 20 members.
That evening, Tim Cooper gave the public a lecture on Comets and Meteors. Members of the Centre assisted the Friends of Boyden by manning observation points. A hired, inflatable planetarium was also used during the evening as well as the solar telescope late afternoon.

June 15, 2002: General Meeting, Boyden Observatory, 19:00
"Astrobiology"; a lecture was presented by Miss Juan-Marie Bower on aspects relating to biology and astronomy, with specific reference to the chances of life on other planets and moons in our solar system like Europa and Mars. An interesting aspect noted was the extreme conditions in which life can survive, found here on Earth.

July 13, 2002: Annual General Meeting, Boyden Observatory, 19:00
A social bring-en-braai was held from 16:00. The meeting started at 19:00.
Mr. Dawie van Jaarsveldt, who were chairman for 2 years, was thanked for his dedication and effort.
The new committee members for 2002/2003 were as follows:
Chairman: Mr. Thinus van der Merwe
Vice chairman: Gerrit Penning (and webmaster)
Treasurer: Braam van Zyl
Secretary: Grietjie Erasmus
Additional members: Johan Koekemoer (clubhouse), Hannes Calitz, Dawie van Jaarsveldt (newsletter)
Council Rep: Chris de Coning (Cape Town)

Member astrophotographer Miss Surina Hohne was bid farewell after she took up a job in Pretoria.

Informal observations of objects in the constellations of Sagittarius and Scutum were done after the meeting on the 13 inch refractor.
September 07, 2002: General Meeting, Boyden Observatory, 19:00
Mr. Gerrit Penning gave members and a group from the public a Boyden created presentation on the solar eclipse of 4 December 2002. It contained information regarding the definition of an eclipse, how it works, interesting stories from history and other aspects. Later the evening, some members stayed for informal discussions.

October 05, 2002: General Meeting, Boyden Observatory, 19:00
"Solar Experiments" - Presentation by Mr. Jacques van Delft concerning the Sun and research projects surrounding solar activities.

November 09, 2002: General Meeting, Boyden Observatory, 19:00
"Geology and Planet Earth." - (Invited speaker) Mr. Johan Loock of the Geology Society of our area presented a lecture on Geology and Planet Earth, well attended by members of the club. Afterwards, members enjoyed tea and coffee.

November 30, 2002: General Meeting, Boyden Observatory, 16:00
Year-end function of ASSA Bloemfontein with an "alien-dress" theme. Late afternoon a picnic was held on the grass in front of the main building at Boyden. Afterwards, an informal meeting was held, followed by a presentation by Miss Juan-Marié Bower and Miss Jeanine Nel given to the other members. Mr. Hannes Calitz was the winner of the dress-up competition.